Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Photograph of Mary Belknap Willson of Albany, New York

Photograph of a woman identified on reverse as Mary Belknap Willson, mother of Luthera, Lura, Manilla and Albert.  The person making the identification guessed that Mary was about 90 in this photograph.

From online research, hopefully correct:

Mary Belknap was born about June 1837 in New York, daughter of Zebina and Fannie (Osgood) Belknap, who were from Randolph, Vermont.

Her paternal grandparents were Moses, Jr. and Margaret (Richardson) Belknap.  Her maternal grandparents were Abijah and Elizabeth (Sprague) Osgood.

She was married at least twice.  First, to a Mr. Wright, with whom she had at least two children:
  • Fannie Wright, born about 1857 in New York
  • Susan P. Wright, born about  1863 in New York
Second, to Leonard Willson, with whom she had at least four children, the aforementioned:
  •  Luthera, born about 1861, at possibly Albany, New York
  •  Lura, born about 1864 in New York
  •  Manilla, born about 1866 in New York; married John F. Collins
  •  Albert, born about 1868 in New York
Mary was living with Luthena and Lura at the time of the 1920 Census of Albany, New York and was shown as age 82.  Luthera and Lura were working as dressmakers in their home.

Mary perhaps had died by the time of the 1930 Census or she was living with people other than Luthera, Lura or Manilla.  The latter, a widow by then, was living by herself at Fonda, New York.

The 1930 Census of Albany, New York shows Luthera and Lura still living together and still enumerated with the surname of Willson.   So it appears neither had married by the time of their late 50s.

Interestingly, there is one year old named Anthony DiBella living with them, enumerated as Lura's son; she would have had him in her late 50s, if so.  The family enumerated before Luthera and Lura is named DiBella, so it's possible Anthony was in the Willson home at the time of enumeration and was mistakenly listed with Luthera and Lura.  Or perhaps Lura had adopted him, officially or unofficially.

If you have any information on the Belknap, Osgood, Wright or Wilson families of Vermont and New York, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

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